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April 07, 2009 - Image 1

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Sidney Fine, a'"U'professor for 53 years, dies

Campus mainstay
passed away at the
age of 88 last week
For the Daily
Sidney Fine, a former his-
tory professor at the University
remembered most for his sense of
humor and wit, died last Tuesday
at the age of 88.
Fine passed away at the Heart-
land Healthcare Center in Ann
Arbor. He is survived by his wife
of66 years, Jean, as well as histwo
daughters, Gail Fine and Deborah
Schmidt, and two grandchildren.
A lion of academia, Fine taught
more than 29,000 students,
according to a count he discussed
regularly, including three genera-
tions of the same families during
his 53-year career.
"At 88, there are relatively few
people around who remember
him but he was a giant, not just
academically and intellectually ...
but as one of the greatest teach-
ers in the history of the Univer-
sity," University of Michigan
Hillel Executive Director Michael
Brooks wrote in an e-mail to the
Daily last night. Brooks was a
close friend of Fine's and attended
his funeral.
Even with the number of stu-
dents that Fine taught through-
out his career, he stressed the
importance of keeping up with all
of his students. In an Apr. 4, 2001
article in The Michigan Daily,
Fine expressed his commitment
to every student.
"They know that I enjoy what
I'm doing," he told the Daily at the
time. "I like my students to see me
as ahuman being,not just a person.
talking to them in a classroom."

The faces of students' par-
ents were commonly sprinkled
throughout the lecture halls of
Sidney Fine classes, Brooks wrote
in the e-mail.
"Sidney once told me about a
father who came up to him after
one of his lectures - students fre-
quently brought their parents to
his classes - to personally thank
him for so significantly enriching
the quality of the family's dinner
conversations," Brooks wrote.
Laurence Deitch, a University
regent who attended two classes
with Fine as an undergraduate in
the 1960s, said Fine had a gift for
enlightening his students.
"He was an unbelievably fasci-
nating and compelling lecturer,"
Deitch said. "He just really made
American government, culture and
political institutions come alive. He
was really devoted to his students
and the University. Not only was he
a greatteacher, but a scholar."
His career at the University
began unexceptionally in 1948
when he hired to teach as an
"Instructor in History."
But when he retired in 2001,
Fine had written 39 articles and
published 12 books during his
career. According to the 2001
Daily article, he held the record
for the longest active teaching
career of any professor in the his-
tory of the University.
Fine was always dedicated to
the idea of maintaining a long
career. The Michigan legislature
abolished a law that required
teachers in Michigan to retire
at the age of 70 in response to a
proposal by one of Fine's former
students, who was also a member
of the state legislature. Fine, who
was 70at the time, added his own
signature to the bill and contin-
ued to teach at the University for
another 10 years after the law was

M\ed. School
deans oppose
ten ure- refor-m
Officials say change members.
According to an article in the
would hinder University Record in November
2008, the policy changes affect
professors' ability 691 researchers at the University,
301 of whom are in the Medical
to get grants School.
Gyetko said the ability to
By NICOLE ABER compare professors on differ-
Daily StaffReporter ent research tracks - some-
thing that isn't a part of the
Medical School officials upcoming changes - is impor-
expressed their disapproval tant because the Medical
yesterday of recently approved School has such a large faculty
changes to the process of evalu- of 2,200 members.
ating the progress of faculty on "We have three tracks," Gyet-
the University's research track. ko said. "So in order to retain
The officials contend it hinders the quality across the tracks, it's
researchers' ability to get funding a matter of policy in the Medical
and grants. School in which ranks are compa-
At yesterday's Senate Advisory rable across the tracks."
Committee on University Affairs Gyetko and Lukacs said
meeting, Margaret Gyetko, Medi- they also want to give assistant
cal School assistant dean for fac- research professors more oppor-
ulty affairs, and Nicholas Lukacs, tunities to be evaluated for pro-
Medical School assistant dean for motions.
research faculty and pathology In addition, Gyetko and
professor, argued against changes Lukacs said they want to change
to the Medical School's research the assistant research professor
faculty tracks that were approved title because it currently limits
last semester. a person's ability to get research
Thesechanges,settotake effect grants.
this fall, were meant to provide Gyetko explained that the
for more uniform review of fac- current title causes companies
ulty members across disciplines. providing research funding to
They included alterations to the question the institution's com-
titles of certain research faculty, mitment to the faculty member.
new lengths of time allotted for . After Gyetko and Lukacs dis-
review of research professors and approved of the new changes,
changes to the timeframe of the Michael Thouless, SACUA vice
tenure process for those faculty See FACULTY, Page 7

Sidney Fine taught more than 29,000 students in his 53 years at the University.

Fine was born in Cleveland,
Ohio on Oct. 11, 1920. He gradu-
ated from Western Reserve Uni-
versity as class valedictorian in
1942 and went on to obtain his
master's degree from the Univer-
sity of Michigan. He was drafted
to fight in World War II during his
time at the University, but applied
for deferment in order to finish his
Throughout his career at the

University, Fine received many
awards for teaching. He was the
third recipient ofthe Golden Apple
Award, which Students Honoring
Outstanding University Teaching
awarded him in 1993.
"He is one of the most interest-
ing people I've ever heard speak,"
LSA sophomore Maria Simon told
the Daily in 2001. "You have to
remind yourself to take notes (in,
his class), because you often want
See FINE, Page 7

Classes offerednext fall that caught the eyes of Daily staffers

Cole talks new book at event

AMCULT 204 - Themes in American Culture
Spies and Sci-Fi, Coups and Concerts: Cold War Culture
How can this class go wrong? Pop culture meets
American communism fears in a class Joseph McCa- 3
rthy could only dream about. The dalss looks at how
cartoons,films andnovels were affected by the United CREDITS
States's standoff with the Soviet Union. The only draw-
backs? Two in-class midterms, a group project and a
take home final.
ANTHRCUL 446 - Sex and the City: Urban
Geography and Sexual Locations
Witty titles aside, this classi jus interesting. It
examines the impact of space on sexuality. lt discusses
topics including the relationship between urban size .,
and sexual specialization. Who hasn't wondered about CREDITS
that? Parts of the class also focus on red light districts,
prostitution and homosexuality.
* ECON 395 - Topics in Microeconomics and
Microeconomic Policy
Economics in Waste
One man's trash is another's education, apparently.
This one-month long course considers America's waste
problems.In lookingat the "waste-scape,"students CREDITS
will examine how the handling and disposal of our
waste has become costly and highly regulated. Waste
topics rn the gamut fromlitter to incinerators to spent nuclear-
teacor fuel.

: LING 305- Advertising Rhetoric
Ever wanted to know how tobe as convincing as the
freecreditreport.com guys? Well here'syour chance. In
Linguistics 305, students analyze the way that verbal
and visual advertising messages are consumed in a
cultural context.Now you can finally have that "Mad CREDITS
Men"-themed party you've always wanted. At least
Junior standing required.
a EEB 436 - Woody Plants: Biology and
The oursedescriptionsays it all: "you will learn to
identify164 trees, shruband vine species." Who can
passsthat up? This "intensive" field- and lecture-based
class includes field trips in the Ann Arbor area. In CREDITS
addition to a variety of other lessons, students will
learn how totidentify plants in their"leafless winter
PSYCH 359- Psychology of Aging.
Wanttopknnwwhyyournewlyempty-nested parents
won'ttop calling you? The Psychology of Aging 2
focuses on the change inbiology,behaviortand thought
in adulthood. But be careful, as the course guide warns, CREDITS
after the class, "(Students) should have anew appre-
ciation of the changes theyoare likely toexperience as
they get older."

History prof. says
Obama has made
situation better
Daily StaffReporter
University of Michigan profes-
sors are making their opinions
heard and putting their expertise
to work for the Obama Adminis-
tration in a variety of ways. A few
University professors have been
named to positions close to the
president. Some share their advice
for the president's agenda through
the lecture circuit and books.
History Prof. Juan Cole is doing

the latter.
Cole spoke last night to a crowd
of about 30 people on many of the
topics included in his new book,
"Engaging the Muslim World." He
talked about a variety of subjects
ranging from the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan to the Israel-Pales-
tine peace process and the Obama
administration's potential to nego-
tiate with Iran.
Cole said he offers strategies in
the book for moving forward from
the past eight years of foreign
policy. He started his speech by
reading from one of the chapters
of the book, which illustrates this
"Whatever we have been doing
the past eight years, it hasn't

worked," Cole said.
He added that the Bush admin-
istration, and specifically former
Vice President Dick Cheney, have
perpetuated lies that negatively
impacted the world's perception
of the United States and caused
needless bloodshed.
But Cole said he's optimistic the
situation will improve under Pres-
ident Barack Obama's leadership.
"I like President Obama quite a
lot," Cole said. "He's doing what
he can to change the dynamic."
One of the changes Cole cited
was Obama's willingness to nego-
tiate with Iran.
"Obama wants to open Iran just
as Nixon opened China," he said.
See COLE, Page 7


Council members don't see eye
to eye on building height limits

Man amendments , initiative.
The discussion marked the first
proposed to core reading of the A2D2 zoning ordi-
nance amendments, designed to
area of A2D2 plan increase the population density in
the city's core downtown zones.
By LARA ZADE The issue of height limitations
Daily Staff Reporter for the core downtown zones - one
of the more controversial amend-
During a three-hour discussion ments to the original A2D2 zoning
at last night's City Council Meeting, ordinance changes - was dissected
members reviewed in great detail by council members during the
more changes to the Ann Arbor meeting.
Discovering Downtown (A2D2) As it currently. stands, most of

the Main Street, State Street and
South University Avenue areas are
considered part of the core down-
town zones, or D1. In the first draft
of A2D2, D1 zones had no height
limitation except for the South
University Avenue area, which was
limited to 170 feet.
Council members consider the
South University Avenue area to
be more sensitive to high-rise con-
struction because it is closer to resi-
dential areas.

Michigan State University students celebrate at the Cedar Village Apartment Complex in East Lansing, Mich. after their loss
to the University of North Carolina in the NCAA basketball national championship game last night.


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